“I want to prove that I defeated Baroni not by a fluke but through raw power,” ONE FC welterweight”, Nobutatsu Suzuki told reporters in an interview with The Tokyo Reporter this week.
The fight he is referring to, of course, is last year’s fight with Phil Baroni at ONE FC’s Rise to Power. The match (which bore a striking resemblance to Chris Weidman’s most recent win over middleweight kingpin, Anderson Silva) featured Baroni succumbing to a barrage of punches and kicks before breaking his ankle. The “fluke” earned Suzuki a first-round, TKO victory.
Nobutatsu’s win was not without its controversy, though. In an article for Samurai Life, writer, Daniel Fletcher claimed “Suzuki lucked into a fluke over Phil “The NYBA”Baroni.” Such critics may not be as numerous or as high-profile as Weidman’s doubters, but as the aforementioned quote from Suzuki shows, they obviously left a mark on the Japanese welterweight.
Suzuki (10-1-2) is set to face former UFC fighter, Brock Larson, in ONE’s inaugural welterweight championship bout at next month’s War of Nations. If he wins, he will be defending his title against former Bellator champion and top-ten welterweight, Ben Askren.
For Suzuki, both of these fights have more than just gold on the line, though. Both will be about reputation, and both will be a chance for him to silence critics and show the world that he is, indeed, a man who wins with “raw power.”